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S&W Antiques S&W Lever Action Pistols, Tip-Up Revolvers, Top-Break Revolvers, and ALL Single Shots


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Old 08-26-2013, 07:15 AM
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Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF  
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Default Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF

143 years old
Serial #6
18" bbl
Matching serial# stock
Iron frame with nickel, same on stock.
Globe front sight with top blade
Rear Peep sight with top V-notch

Functions fully including pivoting open, firing, hammer safety. Locks up solid.
Rifling looks to be intact, have not cleaned the bore yet.
Chamber mouth looks peened to hell from dry firing
Wooden grips intact, minor missing chips, no cracks.
Missing rear sight elevation screw.

Made from 1870 to 189?

The owner asked me to clean it up so he can shoot it or find out what its worth. The guy just wants a 15-22 with some mags to shoot with his kids.
Handed down from his Grandpa. Has been left in a basement for recent unknown decades in this same nasty towel.
The rust pattern perfectly matches the gun. Kind of a "Towel of Turin" effect
Lot of surface rust, some pitting

Apologies for the washed out pics, will take better ones if needed.
A few on GB, similar one in better shape for over a $K asking. Other antique sites have them from $400 up.
Appreciate advice on how to best knock down the bubbled surface rust, degreased 0000 steel wool, oiled 0000 steel wool, light touch on buffer wheel?
I have cleaned up a lot of surplus from Mosin/Mauser to rusty US sporting arms, never anything this old or collecty though.
Also appreciate any other knowledge of it that may be out there.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:34 AM
Model19man Model19man is offline
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Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF  
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It is a bicycle rifle, made to carry on the bicycle frame. Used to shoot dogs that attack while riding the bike. I think 1880's - 1900. 32 rimfire seems to be the most common caliber. A nearly perfect one seems to sell for around $1200. I saw one at a Cabelas gun room not long ago. Try Google to see there are lots of them for sale all over the internet right now.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:54 AM
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Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF  
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It just took some 0000, a few small wire brushes and some time to get the majority of the rust off.

Bore cleaned up decent, rifling is visible but very faint. The twist rate is unknown but looks slower than the modern 1:16. It does about 2/3 of a twist in 18" just eyeballing it. Did not bother trying to measure it. Maybe it is some kind of black powder twist like 1:30?

The firing pin dings around the chamber mouth are pretty ugly but they do not prevent a 22LR round from chambering, action closes on it too.
I did not fire it, will let the owner do that if he chooses to.

After I got it looking decent I started looking for a box to return it in.
I was not going to put it back in the towel of doom.
All the boxes I had were too big or small. I searched the name of the gun again and found this image;


I had some wood scraps left over from a few recent projects and also a teen son being lazy on the couch playing video games.

My decision, "Bud, lets make a box!"

Keep in mind it is just scraps, did not have proper hinges, latch, dimensions or much else. Took about 90 minutes. I cut the pieces and fitted them and gave my son the assembly job, hot glue and finish nails.

It looked pretty crappy with a few boot prints on the wood and I did not have any stain or varnish so I did the ol' torch trick to "age" it a bit.
Also I included a couple accessories that I have had sitting on a shelf gathering dust.
They seemed to fit the look of the case and are not anything that would ever get near my Black Rifles
Threw in a couple boxes of 22 Short too, again, more stuff that just sits here.



Extractor knob goes in the hole, keeps the gun in position.
The white cloth has RIG on it so the owner can keep it protected.


Cleaned up pretty fair.

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:40 AM
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Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF Frank Wesson Small Frame Pocket Rifle 22RF  
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You are right on with the dating, as it is a model 1870. I believe the numbering was unique within that model, which would make that the sixth one produced. Matching stock seems to be the rule, rather than the exception, on those. Poor rifling is unfortunately very common due to the black powder ammo. 22 and 32 are both common, but 22 is more desirable. It looks like you cleaned it up quite well, with most of the nickel and some of the blue remaining. If there is no significant pitting, I would say at least $600, with $1000 possible due to the serial number but not likely.

Bob
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